Downy Mildew Update – July 25th, 2012

Downy mildew is now confirmed in 4 fields in the Kent, Elgin and Norfolk cucumber growing areas.  Overall, most fields remain clean. Even in the infected fields the disease appears to be well under control.  As growers finish harvesting the early plantings, it is important to destroy the crop immediately after harvest is complete.  Either plow, chop or mow it to ensure that the old crop does not become a reservoir of downy mildew spores for the later plantings.  Do not stop spraying the older fields until harvest is complete.

Growers of pumpkins, squash and melons are encouraged to scout their fields regularly for signs of downy mildew and other foliar diseases.  While this pathogen is less aggressive on pumpkins and squash, early identification will greatly improve the chances of controlling this disease should it become established.

With more hot weather in the forecast, it is important to remember the 80/80 rule. Avoid spraying when temperatures are above 80°F or the humidity is above 80%.  Under those weather conditions there is an increased risk of burning the crop.

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